Newsflash: Friday, 31 July 2020

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31 JULY ENG 2020

AFM Colleague,

1. AFM DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING – 2 AUGUST 2020

The July National Leadership Forum (NLF) meeting resolved that an AFM Day of Prayer & Fasting be declared for Sunday, 2 August 2020. Prayer points will include:

  • God’s intervention in driving down the infection curve of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Prayer for frontline workers (medical doctors, nurses, those providing support in our country’s health institutions, security cluster, students and Educators).
  • The country’s economy.
  • All those that have been infected – especially the families of those who have succumbed to the pandemic.
  • Praying against the demonic spirit behind Gender-based violence in our country.
  • Praying against violent crime in all our communities.

I am asking that you have a solidarity prayer at 12h00-13h00 on Sunday, 2 August 2020. Watch below for a video message regarding the AFM Day of Prayer and Fasting:

2. EDUCATION & TRAINING DEPARTMENT: IMPORTANT CIRCULAR

Regarding prospective students in your constituency, kindly be advised about the important matters concerning student applications into the AFM of SA ministry. An important Circular from Dr. Japie La Poorta in this regard is available from the link below:

Circular from Dr J J La Poorta

3. FUNERALS: LETTER FROM THE SACC 

A letter addressing the challenges of funerals for Pastors and their churches is now also available from the link below:

On the Challenge of Funerals for Pastors and their Churches

Blessings!
MG Mahlobo

Nuusflits: Vrydag, 31 Julie 2020

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31 JULIE AFR 2020

AGS Kollega,

1. AGS DAG VAN GEBED EN VAS – 2 AUG 2020

By die NLF (National Leadership Forum) vergadering in Julie is besluit dat die AGS Dag van Gebed en Vas vir 2 Augustus 2020 geskeduleer sal word. Gebedspunte sal die volgende insluit:

• God se ingryping in die daling van die infeksiekurwe van die Covid-19-pandemie.

• Gebed vir ons werkers in die voorste linie (mediese dokters, verpleegkundiges, sleutelwerkers in die gesondheidsindustrie, sekuriteitsgroepe, studente en onderwysers).

• Die land se ekonomie.

• Almal wat met die virus besmet is – veral die families van diegene wat aan die pandemie beswyk het.

• Bid teen die demoniese gees agter geslagsgebaseerde geweld in ons land,

• Bid teen geweldsmisdaad in al ons gemeenskappe.

Ek vra dat jy ‘n solidariteitsgebed sal hou om 12h00-13h00 op Sondag, 2 Augustus 2020. Kyk hieronder na ‘n videoboodskap rakende die AGS Dag van Gebed en Vas:

2. ONDERWYS- EN OPLEIDINGSDEPARTEMENT: BELANGRIKE OMSENDBRIEF

In verband met voornemende studente, lig ons jou vriendelik in oor belangrike aangeleenthede rakende studenteaansoeke by die AGS van SA. ‘n Belangrike omsendbrief van Dr. Japie La Poorta is beskikbaar vanaf die onderstaande skakel:

Circular from Dr J J La Poorta

3. BEGRAFNISSE: BRIEF VAN DIE SACC (SOUTH AFRICAN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES)

‘n Brief van die SACC wat die uitdagings van begrafnisse vir pastore en hul kerke aanspreek, is ook nou beskikbaar vanaf die onderstaande skakel:

On the Challenge of Funerals for Pastors and their Churches

Seëninge!
MG Mahlobo

Newsflash: Friday, 24 July 2020

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24 JULY ENG 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I want to thank you for your prayers. On 21-22 July 2020 we had a successful NLF (National Leadership Forum) virtual meeting. The General Secretary will in due course inform the church about some of the most important decisions taken during the meeting. I want to highlight a few of these.

1. 2020 GENERAL BUSINESS MEETING (GBM) & ANNUAL CONFERENCE (AC) 

Due to current lockdown restrictions it will not be possible for the 2020 Annual Conference (AC) and the General Business Meeting (GBM) to be convened on 6-9 September 2020. The NLF resolved that, depending on the lockdown restrictions pertaining to gatherings, the 2020 AC and GBM be tentatively scheduled for 8-12 November 2020, or 14-18 February 2021 or 14-18 March 2021. The venue remains AFM Word and Life Church in Boksburg.

2. AFM DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING – 2 AUG 2020



The meeting also resolved that an AFM Day of Prayer & Fasting be declared for 2 August 2020. Prayer points will include:

  • God’s intervention in driving down the infection curve of the Covid-19 pandemic,
  • Prayer for frontline workers (medical doctors, nurses, those providing support in our country’s health institutions, security cluster, students and Educators),
  • The country’s economy, and
  • All those that have been infected – especially the families of those who have succumbed to the pandemic.
  • We will also be praying against the demonic spirit behind Gender-based violence in our country.

I am asking that you have a solidarity prayer at 12h00-13h00 on Sunday, 2 August 2020. I will be issuing a video message in this regard.

3. CONDOLENCES 

The NLF observed a moment of silence for our colleagues and spouses who went to be with the Lord since March this year. I am asking that you pray for their families:

  • Emeritus Pastor H.S. Rezant (South Peninsula Region),
  • Emeritus Pastor B.M. Malo (Northern Cape Region),
  • Emeritus Pastor T.A. Kanase (South Peninsula),
  • Emeritus Past G.M. Faleni (Kei Region),
  • Mrs N.T. Mabaso (Zululand Region),
  • Mrs Lottering (Word and Life Network),
  • Past T Martin (South Peninsula Region),
  • Mrs E.T. Magqi (Umzimvubu Region),
  • Emeritus Pastor T.C. Vimba (Umzimvubu Region),
  • Mrs T.R. Ndlovu (East Rand Region),
  • Mrs N.M. Mzandolo (Eastern Cape),
  • Mrs B Sheldon (West Coast Region),
  • Emeritus Pastor M.D. Lotter (East Rand Region),
  • Mrs J Titus (South Peninsula),
  • Mrs K.S. Dlamini (KZN South Coast Region),
  • Past H.J. Plaatjies (South Peninsula Region),
  • Active Emeritus Pastor KM Silomo (East Rand Region),
  • Active Emeritus Pastor LT Xolo (East Rand Region),
  • Past C.S. Mabena (Umzimvubu Region),
  • Past B Mashiya (Southern Free State Region),
  • Active Emeritus Pastor M.W. Mfeka (KZN Midlands Region),
  • Active Emeritus Pastor S.B. Mdletshe (Durban North Network),
  • Emeritus Past C Luke Joseph (Durban Central Region),
  • Past Marius Ferreira (Central Gauteng Region),
  • Past Owen Delport (Central Gauteng Region),
  • Pastor P. Masondo (East Rand Region),
  • Past R.I. Matasane (Southern Free State Region),
  • Mrs M. Mabena (East Rand Region) and
  • Pastor Riaan Metabo (Western Cape Region).

Blessings
MG Mahlobo

Nuusflits: Vrydag, 24 Julie 2020

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24 JULIE AFR 2020

Geagte Kollegas,

Ek wil jou graag bedank vir jou gebede. Op 21-22 Julie 2020 het ons ‘n suksesvolle virtuele vergadering van die NLF (National Leadership Forum) gehad. Die Algemene Sekretaris sal mettertyd die kerk inlig oor sommige van die belangrikste besluite wat tydens die vergadering geneem is. Ek wil ‘n paar hiervan uitlig.

1. 2020 ALGEMENE BESIGHEIDSVERGADERING (GBM) & JAARLIKSE KONFERENSIE

As gevolg van die huidige inperkingsregulasies sal dit nie moontlik wees om die 2020 Algemene Besigheidsvergadering (GBM) & Jaarlikse Konferensie op 6-9 September 2020 te hou nie. Die NLF het besluit, afhangende van die beperkings op byeenkomste, dat die 2020 GBM & Jaarlikse Konferensie voorlopig geskeduleer sal word vir 8-12 November 2020, of 14-18 Februarie 2021 of 14-18 Maart 2021. Dit sal steeds plaasvind by die AGS Woord en Lewe Kerk in Boksburg.

2. AGS DAG VAN GEBED EN VAS – 2 AUG 2020



By die vergadering is besluit dat die AGS Dag van Gebed en Vas vir 2 Augustus 2020 geskeduleer is. Gebedspunte sal die volgende insluit:

  • God se ingryping in die daling van die infeksiekurwe van die Covid-19-pandemie.
  • Gebed vir ons werkers in die voorste linie (mediese dokters, verpleegkundiges, sleutelwerkers in die gesondheidsindustrie, sekuriteitsgroepe, leerlinge en onderwysers).
  • Die land se ekonomie.
  • Almal wat met die virus besmet is – veral die families van diegene wat hul lewens aan die pandemie verloor het.
  • Ons sal ook bid teen die demoniese gees agter geslagsgebaseerde geweld in ons land.
  • Ek vra dat jy ‘n solidariteitsgebed op Sondag 2 Augustus 2020 van 12h00 – 13h00 sal hou. Ek sal ‘n videoboodskap in die verband uitreik.

3. MEEGEVOEL

Die NLF het ‘n oomblik van stilte gehou vir ons kollegas en eggenote wat sedert Maart hierdie jaar, oorlede is. Ek vra dat ons vir hulle gesinne sal bid:

• Emeritus Pastoor H.S. Rezant (South Peninsula Region)

• Emeritus Pastoor B.M. Malo (Northern-Cape Region),

• Emeritus Pastoor T.A. Kanase (South Peninsula),

• Emeritus Pastoor G.M. Faleni (Kei Region),

• Mev. N.T. Mabaso (Zululand Region),

• Mev Lottering (Woord en Lewe Network),

• Pastoor T. Martin (South Peninsula Region),

• Mev E.T. Magqi (Umzimvubu Region),

• Emeritus Pastoor T.C. Vimba (Umzimvubu Region),

• Mev T.R. Ndlovu (East Rand Region),

• Mev N.M. Mzandolo (Eastern Cape Region),

• Mev B. Sheldon (West-Coast Region),

• Emeritus Pastoor M.D. Lotter (East Rand Region),

• Mev J. Titus (South Peninsula),

• Mev K.S. Dlamini (KZN South Coast Region),

• Pastoor H.J. Plaatjies (South Peninsula),

• Aktiewe Emeritus Pastoor K.M. Silomo (East Rand Region),

• Aktiewe Emeritus Pastoor L.T. Xolo (East Rand Region),

• Pastoor C.S. Mabena (Umzimvubu Region),

• Pastoor B. Mashiya (Southern Free State Region),

• Aktiewe Emeritus Pastoor M.W. Mfeka (KZN Midlands Region),

• Aktiewe Emeritus Pastoor S.B. Mdletshe (Durban North Network),

• Emeritus Pastoor C. Luke Joseph (Durban Central Region)

• Pastoor Marius Ferreira (Central Gauteng Region),

• Pastoor Owen Delport (Central Gauteng Region),

• Pastoor P. Masondo (East Rand Region),

• Pastoor R.I. Matasane (Southern Free State Region),

• Mev. M. Mabena (East Rand Region) en

• Pastoor Riaan Metabo (Western Cape Region).

Seëninge
MG Mahlobo

Newsflash: Friday, 10 July 2020

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10 JULY ENG 2020

Fellow Colleagues,

Know that you are always in our prayers in this difficult time. Thank you that you remain faithful in your calling. You will be rewarded greatly.

In this Newsflash the focus is on the 2020 GBM. It is uncertain whether we will be able to hold the 2020 GBM as scheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The National Leadership Forum (NLF) will discuss this matter and decide how we will proceed – as it greatly depends on further developments related to the virus. I thank you for your understanding and patience. I have also included information on the Ministry Integrated Learning (MIL) for your attention. We must all do something to deal with the scourge of the violence that is meted out to women and children in our country. I am also sharing relevant information in this regard.

1. RECENT CIRCULARS FOR YOUR ATTENTION

DATED: WEDNESDAY, 24 JUNE 2020

In this Circular the following issues were included:

  • The promulgated amendments to Appendix 11 of the Constitution of the AFM of SA. In respect of the Administration of Justice in the church.
  • The approved Assembly Leaders policy.
  • The approved amended policy of the National Children’s Ministry.
  • The approved amended Constitution of the Executive Welfare Council.
  • An invitation to the 2020 GBM.

To register for the GBM 2020 online, please use the link below:

https://afm.easychurch.co.za/?page_id=413

To download this Circular and all relevant attachments, click on the link below:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

DATED: TUESDAY, 7 JULY 2020

In this Circular AFM Pastors are invited to complete a survey regarding the status and challenges of discipleship. The survey can be accessed from the link below:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/K27L3WN

To download this Circular and all relevant attachments, click on the link below:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

2. MIL APPLICATIONS: 2021 

Application forms for the 2021 MIL program is now available from:  www.milafm.co.za.  The due date is 15 August 2020 but may be extended because of the practical implications regarding the current national lockdown. Please note that because of the lockdown applications are to be forwarded by e-mail to [email protected] , and not posted by land mail. For any inquiries, please phone the MIL Coordinator, Dr. Christo van den Berg at 082 086 6269, or e-mail to the aforementioned e-mail address.

3. (NEW) AFM BLOG: ARTICLES ABOUT GBV & VIOLENCE AGAINST- AND ABUSE OF CHILDREN

We hear of violent deaths of women and children almost daily and we all wonder what kind of person can do such evil and heinous acts. We realise there is a need for a toolkit for Pastors and other church leaders to provide them with information (including the policy and legal framework) on violence against- and abuse of women and children and also practical guidelines that will spell out what to do when they are confronted with this major challenge in their congregations and communities they serve.

Please note that articles on the subject matter will be shared on a weekly basis via the AFM website. We trust that you will find the information useful, insightful and practical:

https://afm-ags.org/category/articles/

CONCLUSION

I would like to receive your feedback on the above matters and on how Covid-19 is affecting your ministry. Please send your e-mail to [email protected].

Blessings!

MG Mahlobo

Nuusflits: Vrydag, 10 Julie 2020

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10 JULIE AFR 2020

Mede-kollega,

Weet dat jy altyd in ons gebede is in hierdie moeilike tyd. Dankie dat jy getrou bly in jou roeping. Jy sal werklik beloon word.

In hierdie Nuusflits fokus ons op die 2020 GBM. Dit is onduidelik of ons in staat sal wees om die 2020 GBM te hou soos geskeduleer weens die koronavirus-pandemie. Die Nasionale Leierskapforum (NLF) sal hierdie aangeleentheid bespreek en besluit hoe ons sal voortgaan. Dit hang egter baie af van verdere ontwikkelinge wat die met die virus verband hou. Ek bedank jou vir jou begrip en geduld. Ek het ook inligting oor MIL (Ministry Integrated Learning) registrasies vir 2021 vir jou aandag ingesluit. Ons moet almal iets doen om die plaag van geweld teen die vroue en kinders van ons land aan te pak – ek deel ook relevante inligting in hierdie verband.

1. AGS OMSENDBRIEWE VIR JOU AANDAG

DATUM: WOENSDAG 24 JUNIE 2020

In hierdie omsendbrief is die volgende aspekte ingesluit:

  • Die gepromulgeerde wysigings aan Bylaag 11 van die Grondwet van die AGS van SA – ten opsigte van “Administration of Justice” in die kerk.
  • Die goedgekeurde beleid vir Gemeenteleiers (“Assembly Leaders”)
  • Die goedgekeurde gewysigde beleid van die Nasionale Kinderbediening.
  • Die goedgekeurde gewysigde grondwet van die Uitvoerende Welsynsraad.
  • ‘n Uitnodiging na die 2020 GBM.

Gebruik gerus die onderstaande skakel om aanlyn vir die GBM 2020 te registreer:

https://afm.easychurch.co.za/?page_id=413

Om die omsendbrief en alle toepaslike aanhangsels af te laai, klik op die onderstaande skakel:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

DATUM DINSDAG, 7 JULIE 2020

In hierdie omsendbrief word AGS Pastore uitgenooi om deel te neem aan ‘n opname oor die status en uitdagings van dissipelskap. Die vraelys is aanlyn beskikbaar vanaf die onderstaande skakel:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/K27L3WN

Om die omsendbrief en alle toepaslike aanhangsels af te laai, klik op die onderstaande skakel:

https://afm-ags.org/category/media/

2. MIL AANSOEKE: 2021 

Aansoekvorms vir die 2021 MIL-program is nou beskikbaar by: www.milafm.co.za. Die sperdatum is 15 Augustus 2020 maar kan verleng word vanweë die praktiese implikasies met betrekking tot die huidige nasionale inperking. Let daarop dat aansoeke weens die sluitingsdatum per e-pos na [email protected] gestuur moet word en nie per landpos gepos word nie. Vir enige navrae skakel die MIL-koördineerder,

Dr. Christo van den Berg by 082 086 6269, of e-pos na bogenoemde e-pos adres.

3. (NUUT) AGS-BLOG: ARTIKELS OOR GBV & GEWELD TEEN- EN MISBRUIK VAN KINDERS

Ons hoor byna daagliks van gewelddadige sterftes van vroue en kinders en ons almal wonder watter soort persoon sulke gruwelike dade kan doen. Ons besef dat daar praktiese bronne vir pastore en ander kerkleiers nodig is om hulle te voorsien van inligting (insluitend die beleid en wetlike raamwerk) oor geweld teen en mishandeling van vroue en kinders – ook praktiese riglyne wat uiteensit wat om te doen wanneer hulle gekonfronteer word met hierdie groot uitdaging in hul gemeentes en die gemeenskappe wat hulle bedien.

Let daarop dat artikels oor die onderwerp weekliks op die AGS-webwerf gedeel word. Ons vertrou dat jy die inligting nuttig, insiggewend en prakties sal vind:

https://afm-ags.org/category/articles/

SLOT

Ek wil graag jou terugvoering ontvang oor bogenoemde aangeleenthede en oor hoe Covid-19 jou bediening beïnvloed. Stuur jou e-pos aan : [email protected].

Seën!

MG Mahlobo

PASTORAL LETTER 2ND QUARTER

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AFM Newsltr 2ND Qrt 2020 ENG web

AFM Colleague, 

We are going through a pandemic crisis which has and continues to disrupt our social, economic and our church life in an unprecedented way. Covid-19 is characterized as a novel crisis because it is indeed a ‘game changer’ which poses a global threat to all sectors of society.

LEADERSHIP QUALITIES IN A CRISIS
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]

Crises are, generally, grouped into two categories, namely the routine and the novel crisis. In routine crises organizations have the ability to put in place plans on how to deal with these, because the risks are known. On the other hand, novel crises are characterized by high level of risks and uncertainties. Plans and processes that may work in a routine crisis are, in most cases, found to be inadequate and sometimes counterproductive.

“…leaders need to grasp and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic while keeping up hope in their members.”

During times of crises people look up to their leaders for guidance.  As we are going through the current Covid-19 pandemic, church members are looking up to their leaders at local, regional, and national levels. For this reason, leaders need to grasp and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic while keeping up hope in their members. They must also ensure that the decisions taken are prudent.

In this article I would like to highlight some of the leadership qualities we need when we go through crisis moments, such as the current one.

Leadership Agility

The coronavirus pandemic requires leaders that can move with speed without losing their values. They need the ability to process information quickly and promptly decide on the appropriate course of action. This is what the leadership of the AFM did after the declaration of the State of National Disaster and the subsequent National Lockdown. We issued communication on 17 March 2020 to all AFM structures on what they needed to do. Most of the contents of this communication became irrelevant when the national lockdown was announced on 23 March 2020. On 24 March 2020 we updated our 17 March 2020 Covid-19 communication.

“How we behave, in front of those we lead, is important.”

Leadership Calmness

In times of crises like coronavirus we need to stay calm, rational, and focused. Many people lose their cool and begin to panic in a time of crisis. This is understandable. However, it is expected that leaders should adopt a posture of calmness. In this way we will be able to reflect and apply our minds towards positive action. How we behave, in front of those we lead, is important. We should count ourselves fortunate in that we are not lacking information about Covid-19. When a decision has been taken on a particular action it must be communicated with clarity.

Leadership Adaptability

By June last year none of us were talking about social distancing, regular washing of hands, sanitizers, and face masks as we do today. One of the lessons learned from the coronavirus is that leaders must be able to embrace necessary behavioral change to avoid a worst-case scenario. Some of the decisions that we took related to adapting or halting some of our liturgical practices such as laying on of hands on the sick and during the dedication of children, the Lord’s Communion, and water baptism. Any behavior that would enhance the risk of infection had to be changed or stopped. Behavioral change is not easy because it requires a mindset change. In isiXhosa we say: “Isiqhelo soyisa ingqondo” which can roughly be translated as “the habit conquers the mind”. Bold decisions must be taken when it comes to changing human behavior.

During Level 5 of the lockdown many pastors resorted to social network platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype and Zoom. These platforms became useful tools for communication and ministry. I have never been to so many virtual meetings and conferences before as I have been during the national lockdown period.

Leadership Empathy

Covid-19 has become a threat to our survival. Some of the questions in the minds of many people are: “Will I be infected? Will I lose my job? What is going to happen to my family?” On the other hand, there are many who have already lost their jobs and many who have lost their loved ones due to the pandemic. Walking alongside people (who are impacted negatively by the virus) with empathy, may make a positive difference in their lives.

OPPORTUNITIES IN A TIME OF CRISIS

Past. B. Petersen (General Treasurer of the AFM of SA) – [email protected] 

The Bible teaches us that it does not help much if we are weak in time of crisis. In fact, Solomon says that to act with weakness in a crisis is a sign of having very little strength indeed. A crisis is identifiable by some or all of the following components – threat, surprise, urgency and uncertainty. The pandemic brought on us by the novel coronavirus and the disease called Covid-19 can indeed be described as a crisis of catastrophic proportions containing all the above components. It not only challenged the way of life as we knew it, but also our ability to see opportunities in a time of crisis.

Life as we knew it 

At the outset it must be said that the church is a place where we find comfort in the presence of the Lord and the believers, the place where our weary souls are restored, our hopes renewed and where we are reminded of 1 Peter 1:7 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”.

We believers are encouraged in the book of Hebrews not to neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but are supposed to encourage one another to meet regularly in the house of the Lord, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near! Going to Church on Sundays and even in the week, have been viewed by believers as their Christian duty. The fellowship and gathering of the saints are no small matter to God’s children and many of us have become used to and comfortable with the way the church functions. In doing so we limited God to fit into our existing paradigms.

Locked down and locked out

When the South African nation went into total lockdown at midnight on 26 March 2020, no one could remain in any zone of life as we knew it. Everyone was unceremoniously evicted from what we were used to and almost overnight the entire world became a strange place. There came an abrupt end to all the things we took for granted. Going to the gym, the hairdresser, and the mall. Popping out for a takeaway meal or going to sit down at your favourite restaurant. Visiting friends and family, attending parties and funerals, even going to church, no more life as we knew it.

The impact on the church

The impact on the local church was felt in a number of ways. As already mentioned, there was the loss of communal worship and fellowship. There was the challenge of adapting to new and strange ways of “doing church”. Not everybody warmed up to receiving sermons via WhatsApp and the other social networks. Besides, not everybody could afford the cost of airtime and data. No more opportunity to take the Lord’s tithe to His own storehouse on Sundays. And how many would take the trouble to tithe in “strange new ways?”. The result – the income of the church was also impacted negatively.

A biblical lesson 

There is a story in the book of Jeremiah 29:4-7 about those who were carried into Babylonian exile. The exiles in Babylon were also overcome by all the elements of a crisis. They also hoped and prayed that the crisis would be over soon. That they will return home quickly. But God advised them differently. Take the longer view, they were told – “Work towards the peace and prosperity of the city where you are”. God gave them instructions to plant their own gardens and live from the produce thereof. To look to the future. The efforts of the present always have an impact on the future. Doing nothing is not an option. But what can be done? How can we built today to secure a sustainable future?

“The efforts of the present always have an impact on the future.”

Community involvement and socio-economic opportunities  

Pastors and congregations could consider broadening their impact on their surrounding communities by starting socio-economic programs that could create income generating and/or job creation opportunities. Such programs could include Child and Youth Care Centers and Foster Homes, drop-in centers for children, care and support of older persons in institutions and communities, care and support of persons with disabilities, gender-based violence/domestic violence support services and shelters, early childhood development centers, literacy programs, substance abuse institutions and community based programs, poverty alleviation and job creation.

To assist AFM Assemblies the AFM Welfare has extensive experience and tools to provide technical support with the initiating, developing, and providing of programs and projects (especially where funding is required from the Department of Social Development and other sources). The assistance would include guidance on the policy and legal framework, understanding the requirements and the registration process related to both as an NPO (Non-Profit Organization) and as a designated service. Consideration should also be given to partnering with existing NPO’s.

“I pray that God will provide creative insight and wisdom on how to apply what He has placed in our hands, to meet the demands we face today and in the future. “

Conclusion

When Moses stood in front of the Red Sea and the armies of Egypt was behind him, the Lord asked him “What do you have in your hand”. I pray that God will provide creative insight and wisdom on how to apply what He has placed in our hands, to meet the demands we face today and in the future.

THE CHURCH OF THE FUTURE
Dr. H.J. Weideman (General Secretary of the AFM of SA) – [email protected]  

As church buildings and in-person meetings start to re-open, it becomes increasingly apparent that we are entering a new reality and that there are many things in our everyday lives that are changing, and most probably would never be the same again. This includes the way we think about and have church in the future. Observing the realities in our church country wide, reading what others around the world are saying and after thinking and praying about this, I have a few remarks.

“It is necessary to press the reset button on many aspects of being and having church.”

It is necessary to press the reset button on many aspects of being and having church. Many assemblies were not able to meet at all during this time. For some, having the church building closed caused the assembly to practically stop functioning. Members did not receive any Spiritual input, and some had no contact with their Pastor or spiritual leaders at all. For many of these assemblies their only source of income was through the offerings that their members physically brought to the meetings and because of the lockdown that stopped.

Although in-person services were closed, some were able to meet online, making use of sermons and songs recorded in the homes of pastors and singers. Some assemblies also used platforms such as Zoom, Facebook and WhatsApp to be in touch with and communicate to their members.

Most Pastors and many members are eager to restart their normal way of having church, but there are a few things we need to think about and a few questions we need to answer for ourselves considering the future:

What are the important elements of in-person meetings?

During the first few weeks of the lockdown, assemblies facilitating online church services experienced an increase in attendance. Some reached more people in comparison to the number of people usually attending their in-person services. After about eight weeks many of these churches reported a plateau or even a decline in online attendance.

This corresponds with surveys in the USA where almost half of all churchgoers, after two months of lockdown, did not attend any online church.  Digital presence for the church is here to stay, but many people want to go back to an in-person experience in a place of worship and we need to ask ourselves why?  What do people get out of an in-person service that they cannot get online? We need to identify those elements and make sure that we strengthen them. In my opinion some of those elements are corporate singing, worshiping and praying together, as well as spending time in fellowship before or after services.

How can people be reached and ministered to, outside of in-person meetings? 

Crossing the digital divide:
Many assemblies will have to cross the bridge to digital technology, social media and online presence, to effectively reach their members and to sustainably grow their congregations in the future. The church will prevail, but not every assembly will prevail. I do not fully agree with the notion that churches will become digital organisations with physical expressions. However, I am convinced that pastors and assemblies should take cognisance of and utilise the massive opportunity that digital presence presents to the church – to reach people everywhere. Social media and online platforms create the opportunity to show up in the lives of people every day, not just on Sundays. This opportunity will continue to grow and should become a way of entering the church and not a last refuge for people leaving the church, as it was in the recent past.

Social media and online platforms create the opportunity to show up in the lives of people every day, not just on Sundays.”

The future church that really cares about people, especially young people, will care about a digital presence. It is important to know that you do not have to be a big church or have a big budget to have an impact online. You only need to be willing to embrace technology and experiment with the available options.

On demand availability: For those assemblies who already developed a digital presence before or during the lockdown, an important opportunity will be to continue and enhance this service. Many churches presented their Sunday service and mid-week meetings as live events, assuming that people who want to access it, will do so exactly when it happens.

The most successful digital platforms around are providing their product “on demand” and churches can learn from this. Consider making every in-person Sunday service available in a way that can be accessed by members and “visitors” when it suits them.  Furthermore, many pastors and assemblies have years of sermons, sermon series and teachings on MP4 or YouTube videos and should consider making those available on demand.

Home based spiritual formation: It is exciting to see that some assemblies are beginning to focus on everyday ministry, and not just on Sunday ministry. Building on the “on demand” availability of sermons, teachings and Bible studies, other services such as new member orientation, spiritual growth- and marriage enrichment courses can be made fully or partially available online.

This can enable individuals to access the material in their own time at home, and only attend the final session/s in-person at the church facility. It will also go a long way in assisting people to assume responsibility for their own spiritual growth, personal discipleship and evangelism.

What are the key elements and principles of being church?

Over the last few decades churches have become institutions with entrenched cultures and fixed ways of doing things. Many assemblies have developed an array of departments, ministries and fields of interest. Some have diversified to such an extent, that it is sometimes difficult to readily point out what their core business actually is.

The pandemic has brought us the opportunity, maybe even the necessity to go back to zero-based thinking: Imagining ourselves and our assemblies back at the point before any particular decisions on ministries, departments, assembly culture and -operations were made and to now, in the light of the current circumstances and information available to us, make them again freely.

Being church is about more than what happens within the four walls of church buildings. Homes, neighborhoods and communities are part of our ministry field.”

Being church is about more than what happens within the four walls of church buildings. Homes, neighborhoods and communities are part of our ministry field. One important observation in this regard is to ensure that whilst methods and models will have to change, the mission of an assembly never does.

On what should assemblies really be spending money?

Literally overnight the way meetings are conducted became virtual. Indications are that this will become part of the “new normal” and that many staff meetings and even Governing Body meetings of structures on assembly, regional and national level can be done in this way in the future. This can lead to substantial budgetary savings, while assemblies should consider repurposing some of their budget on equipping themselves better for digital engagement and -ministry.

Another implication of this is that staff members who have the means, can work virtually. It is a trend that will probably continue in many companies and that assemblies and church staff members can also benefit from.  The key issues will be productivity and their availability to give full attention to and focus on their job, even when working from home.

Considering wat is really key to being church and what can be considered “nice to haves” is probably one of the important exercises that assemblies will have to do, especially in light of the income of most assemblies being under pressure.

Sources: “Disruptive church trends every church leader should watch.”  – Carey Nieuwhof & “How COVID-19 Is Shaping the Future of the Church.” – Carey Nieuwhof & “Moving Forward: Future Church Trends.” -Anthony Hilder & “Five early findings from churches that are regathering.” -Thom Rainer.

CONCLUSION

As we are passing through different stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, we need to be aware that the re-opening of church buildings and in-person meetings will most probably not have people flocking to the church, at least not yet. Surveys around the world shows that people have different opinions about when they would feel “safe’’ to gather again. It seems that around 30% of respondents will only return when they can be mask-free at church and 15% said they would only return when there is evidence of low cases, businesses are open, restrictions are lifted, and a vaccine is available. Around 8% said that the opening of restaurants for sit-down customers will be a guideline for them.

As church leaders we should not allow these indications to be emotional let-downs and we should not treat people who are cautious to attend, as though they are not people of faith. One thing is sure: We are entering a new reality and many people, even some leaders, are struggling more deeply than we realise, with the absence of what most people perceived as “normal”.

We need to talk about these things to our family, friends and colleagues.  We need to pray and think about it and prepare ourselves for a longer period of disruption than we thought.

Past. M.G. Mahlobo

PASTORALE BRIEF 2DE KWARTAAL

Laai die PDF weergawe hier af:

AFM Newsltr 2ND Qrt 2020 AFR web

Geagte Kollega, 

Ons gaan deur ‘n pandemiese krisis wat aanhou om ons lewens op ‘n ongekende manier te ontwrig op ‘n sosiale, ekonomiese en op kerklike vlak. Covid-19 word gekenmerk as ‘n nuwe krisis wat inderdaad alles verander en wat ‘n wêreldwye bedreiging vir alle sektore van die samelewing inhou.

LEIERSKAP KWALITEITE IN ‘N KRISIS
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President van die AGS van SA) – [email protected]

Oor die algemeen word krisisse in twee kategorieë ingedeel, naamlik ‘n “roetine” en ‘n “nuwe” krisis. In die geval van ‘n “roetine” krisis het organisasies die vermoë om planne in plek te stel vir die hantering daarvan omdat die risiko bekend is. Aan die ander kant word ‘n “nuwe” krisis gekenmerk deur ‘n hoë vlak van risiko en onsekerheid.  Planne en prosesse wat effektief is in ‘n “roetine” krisis is in meeste gevalle onvoldoende en kan selfs teenproduktief wees in ‘n “nuwe” krisis.

In krisistye kyk mense op na hul leiers vir leiding om die impak van die krisis wat hul in die gesig staar, te verminder. Soos ons deur die huidige Covid-19 pandemie gaan, kyk gemeentelede op na hul leiers op plaaslike, streeks en nasionale vlak. Vir hierdie rede moet leiers die impak van die koronavirus pandemie begryp en aanspreek en terselfde tyd hul lidmate vol hoop hou. Hulle moet ook verseker dat die besluite wat geneem word verstandig is.

“Vir hierdie rede moet leiers die impak van die koronavirus pandemie begryp en aanspreek en terselfde tyd hul lidmate vol hoop hou.”

In hierdie artikel wil ek enkele van die leierseienskappe wat ons benodig wanneer ons deur krisistye gaan, soos die huidige een, benadruk.

Leierskap Behendigheid (“Agility”)

Koronavirus benodig leiers wat vinnig kan beweeg, sonder om hul waardes te verloor. Ons het onder andere die vermoë nodig om inligting vinnig te verwerk en onmiddellik te besluit oor die toepaslike plan van aksie. Dit is wat die leierskap van die AGS gedoen het na afloop van die afkondiging van ‘n ramptoestand en die daaropvolgende nasionale inperking. Ons het op 17 Maart 2020 kommunikasie uitgereik aan alle AGS-strukture oor wat hulle moes doen. Meeste van die inhoud van hierdie kommunikasie het onbelangrik geraak na die afkondiging van ‘n ramptoestand op 23 Maart 2020. Op 24 Maart 2020 het ons die kommunikasie van 17 Maart 2020 opgedateer.

“Hoe ons optree voor die wat ons lei is belangrik.”

Leierskap Kalmte

In krisisse soos die koronavirus moet ons kalm, rasioneel en gefokus bly. Baie mense verloor hul kalmte en begin paniekerig raak in ‘n krisistyd. Dit is te verstane. Daar word egter verwag dat leiers ‘n houding van kalmte moet aanneem. Op hierdie manier kan ons reflekteer en ons gedagtes toepas op positiewe aksies. Hoe ons optree voor die wat ons lei is belangrik. Ons moet ons self gelukkig ag omdat daar nie ‘n tekort aan inligting oor Covid-19 is nie. Wanneer ‘n besluit oor ‘n bepaalde aksie geneem word moet dit duidelik gekommunikeer word.

Leierskap Aanpasbaarheid

Teen Junie verlede jaar het niemand van ons gepraat oor sosiale afstand, gereelde was van hande, saniteerders en gesigmaskers soos ons vandag doen nie. Een van die lesse wat ons kan leer uit die koronavirus is dat leiers die nodige gedragsverandering moet aangryp om ‘n slegte situasie te vermy. Sommige van die besluite wat ons geneem het hou verband met die aanpassing of staking van sommige van ons liturgiese praktyke soos die opleg van hande op siekes en tydens die toewyding van kinders, die gebruik van nagmaal en die waterdoop. Enige gedrag wat die risiko van infeksie sou verhoog moes verander of gestaak word. Gedragsverandering is nie maklik nie, want dit verg ‘n verandering in ons denke. In isiXhosa sê ons: “Isiqhelo soyisa ingqondo” wat rofweg vertaal kan word as “die gewoonte verower die gees”. Standvastige besluite moet geneem word as dit kom by die verandering van menslike gedrag.

Tydens Vlak 5 inperkings het baie pastore sosiale netwerkplatforms soos WhatsApp, Facebook, Skype en Zoom gebruik vir kommunikasie en bediening. Ek was nog nooit deel van soveel virtuele vergaderings en konferensies soos tydens die nasionale inperking nie.

Leierskap Empatie 

Covid-19 het ‘n bedreiging vir ons oorlewing geword. Sommige van die vrae wat dwaal in baie mense se gedagtes is:  Sal ek die infeksie kry? Sal ek my werk verloor? Wat gaan met my gesin gebeur?  Aan die ander kant is daar baie mense wat alreeds hul werk verloor het en baie wat geliefdes moes afstaan aan die pandemie. Om met empatie langs die mense te loop wat negatief deur die virus beïnvloed is kan ‘n positiewe verskil in hul lewens maak.

GELEENTHEDE IN ‘N KRISIS

Past. B. Petersen (Algemene Tesourier van die AGS van SA) – [email protected] 

Die Bybel leer ons dat dit nie veel help as ons swak is in ‘n krisistyd nie. Trouens, Salomo het gesê dat om op te tree met swakheid in ‘n krisis ‘n teken is van baie min krag. ‘n Krisis kan deur sommige of al die volgende komponente geïdentifiseer word – bedreiging, verrassing, dringendheid en onsekerheid. Die pandemie wat op ons gebring is deur die nuwe koronavirus en die siekte genaamd Covid-19 kan inderdaad beskryf word as ‘n krisis van katastrofiese proporsies wat al die bogenoemde komponente bevat. Dit het nie net die manier waarop ons die lewe ken uitgedaag nie, maar ook ons vermoë om geleenthede in ‘n krisistyd te sien.

Die lewe soos ons dit geken het

Aanvanklik moet gesê word dat die kerk ‘n plek is waar ons vertroosting vind in die teenwoordigheid van die Here en gelowiges.  Die plek waar ons vermoeide siele herstel word, ons hoop hernu word en waar ons herinner word aan 1 Petrus 1:7 “…sodat die egtheid van julle geloof getoets kan word. Julle geloof is baie meer kosbaar as goud, goud wat vergaan. Selfs die suiwerheid van goud word met vuur getoets, en die egtheid van julle geloof moet ook getoets word, sodat dit lof en heerlikheid en eerwaardig mag wees by die wederkoms van Jesus Christus.”

In Hebreërs word die gelowiges aangemoedig om hul byeenkomste nie te verwaarloos nie, maar is veronderstel om mekaar aan te moedig om gereeld in die huis van die Here te vergader, veral met die dag van sy wederkoms wat nader kom! Dus om Sondae, en selfs in die week kerk toe te gaan, is deur gelowiges gesien as hul Christelike plig. Die gemeenskap en die byeenkoms van die heiliges is nie ‘n geringe saak vir God se kinders nie en baie van ons het gewoond geraak en gemaklik geraak met die werking van die kerk. Sodoende het ons God beperk tot ons bestaande paradigmas.

Ingeperk en uitgesluit

Toe die Suid-Afrikaanse nasie om middernag op 26 Maart 2020 in totale inperking gegaan het, kon niemand in enige lewenssone bly soos ons dit ken nie. Almal is onbewustelik vervreemd van dit waaraan hul gewoond was en byna oornag het die hele wêreld ‘n vreemde plek geword. Daar was ‘n skielike einde aan al die dinge wat ons as vanselfsprekend aanvaar het. ‘n Besoek aan die gimnasium, die haarkapper en ‘n winkelsentrum. Bestelling van ‘n wegneemete of gaan sit by jou gunsteling restaurant. ‘n Besoek aan vriende en familie, bywoon van partytjies en begrafnisse, selfs kerk toe gaan – geen meer lewe soos ons dit geken het nie.

Die impak op die kerk

Die impak op plaaslike kerke is op verskillende maniere gevoel. Soos reeds genoem was daar die verlies aan gemeenskaplike aanbidding en samesyn. Die uitdaging was daar om aan te pas deur nuwe en vreemde maniere te gebruik om kerkdienste te hou. Nie almal was opgewonde daaroor om preke via WhatsApp en die ander sosiale netwerke te ontvang nie. Buitendien kan almal ook nie lugtyd en data bekostig nie. Daar is ook nie die geleendheid op Sondae om tiendes te bring na die stoorkamers van die Here nie. En hoeveel mense sal die moeite doen om tiendes op vreemde en nuwe maniere te gee? Die resultaat – die inkomste van die kerk is ook negatief beïnvloed.

“Die pogings van die hede het altyd ‘n impak op die toekoms.”

‘n Bybelse les

Daar is ‘n verhaal in Jeremia 29:4-7 oor diegene wat in Babilloniese ballingskap weggevoer is. Die mense wat in ballingskap in Babillon was is ook deur al die elemente van ‘n krisis oorkom. Hulle het ook gehoop en gebid dat die krisis binnekort verby sou wees. Dat hulle vinnig sal kan terugkeer huis toe. Maar God het hulle anders geadviseer. Neem die langer siening, is aan hulle gesê: “Bevorder die belange van die stad waarheen Ek julle in ballingskap weggevoer het, bid tot My vir daardie stad, want sy belange is ook julle belange”. God het aan hulle opdrag gegee om hul eie tuine te plant en van die opbrengs daarvan te leef. Om na die toekoms te kyk. Die pogings van die hede het altyd ‘n impak op die toekoms. Om niks te doen nie is nie ‘n opsie nie. Maar wat kan gedoen word? Hoe kan ons vandag bou om ‘n volhoubare toekoms te verseker?

Gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid en sosio-ekonomiese geleenthede

Pastore en gemeentes kan dit oorweeg om hul impak op hul omliggende gemeenskappe te verbreed deur sosio-ekonomiese programme in plek te stel wat inkomstepotensiaal en/of werkskeppingsgeleenthede kan voortbring. Sulke programme kan die volgende insluit:

  • Kinder- en jeugsorgsentrums en pleeghuise.
  • Inloop sentrums vir kinders.
  • Versorging en ondersteuning van bejaardes by instellings en gemeenskappe.
  • Versorging en ondersteuning van persone met gestremdhede, geslagsgebaseerde geweld, huishoudelike geweld, ondersteuningsdienste en skuilings.
  • Ontwikkelingsentrums vir vroeë kinderontwikkeling.
  • Geletterdheidsprogramme.
  • Dwelm rehabilitasiesentrums en gemeenskapsgebaseerde programme.
  • Verligting van armoede en werkskepping.

Om AGS Gemeentes te help, het die AFM Welfare uitgebreide ervaring en materiaal om tegniese ondersteuning te bied met die instelling, ontwikkeling en verskaffing van programme en projekte (veral waar befondsing benodig word deur die Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling en ander bronne). Die hulp sluit leiding in oor die beleid en wetlike raamwerk, begrip van die vereistes en die registrasie proses wat verband hou met ‘n NPO (nie-winsgewende organisasie), sowel as ‘n aangewese diens. Daar moet ook gekyk word na die samewerking met bestaande NPO’s.

Ek bid dat God kreatiewe insig en wysheid sal gee..”

Toe Moses voor die Rooi See gaan staan en die leërs van Egipte agter hom was, vra die Here vir hom: “Wat het jy daar in jou hand?” Ek bid dat God kreatiewe insig en wysheid sal gee oor hoe om dit wat Hy in ons hande geplaas het toe te pas om te voldoen aan die vereistes wat ons vandag en in die toekoms in die gesig staar.

DIE KERK VAN DIE TOEKOMS
Dr. H.J. Weideman (Algemene Sekretaris van die AGS van SA) – [email protected]  

Soos wat kerkgeboue en in-persoon byeenkomste begin oopmaak, word dit al hoe duideliker dat ons ‘n nuwe realiteit betree en dat baie aspekte van ons alledaagse lewe verander en waarskynlik nooit weer dieselfde sal wees nie. Dit sluit in die manier hoe ons oor kerk dink en in die toekoms sal kerk hou. Nadat ek die realiteite in ons gemeentes landswyd dopgehou het, opgelees het oor wat ander in die wêreld daaroor sê en daaroor gedink en gebid het, het ek enkele opmerkings om te maak.

Dit is nodig dat ons t.o.v. verskeie aspekte van kerkwees en kerkhou die “reset” knoppie sal druk.”

Dit is nodig dat ons t.o.v. verskeie aspekte van kerkwees en kerkhou die “reset” knoppie sal druk. Baie gemeentes kon glad nie gedurende die inperkingstyd kerk hou nie. Vir party het die feit dat kerkgeboue gesluit was, beteken dat die gemeente vir alle praktiese redes opgehou het om te funksioneer. Lidmate het geen geestelike insette ontvang nie en baie het geen kontak met hulle pastoor of geestelike leiers gehad nie. Sommige van hierdie gemeentes se enigste bron van inkomste was deur middel van die offerhandes wat lidmate fisies na byeenkomste bring en a.g.v. die inperking het dit gestop.

Alhoewel in-persoon byeenkomste gesluit is, kon sommige gemeentes aanlyn dienste hou en gebruik maak van preke en liedjies wat in die huise van pastore en sangers opgeneem is. Party gemeentes het ook platforms soos Zoom, Facebook en WhatsApp gebruik om kontak te maak en te kommunikeer met hul lidmate.

Meeste pastore en baie lidmate is gretig om hulle normale manier van kerkhou te hervat. Daar is egter ‘n paar aspekte waaroor ons moet dink en vrae t.o.v. die toekoms wat ons moet beantwoord.

Wat is die belangrikste elemente van in-persoon byeenkomste? 

Gedurende die eerste paar weke van inperking het baie gemeentes wat aanlyn kerkdienste aangebied het, ‘n toename in bywoning ervaar. Sommige het meer mense bereik as wat hulle gewoonlik met hulle in-persoon dienste doen. Na omtrent agt weke het baie van hierdie gemeentes ‘n plato of selfs ‘n afname in bywoning beleef.

Digitale teenwoordigheid vir die kerk is hier om te bly, maar baie mense verlang na ‘n in-persoon belewenis in ‘n plek van aanbidding en ons moet vra, hoekom?”

Dit stem ooreen met opnames in die VSA waar byna helfte van kerkgangers na sowat twee maande van inperking  geen aanlyn byeenkomste meer bygewoon het nie. Digitale teenwoordigheid vir die kerk is hier om te bly, maar baie mense verlang na ‘n in-persoon belewenis in ‘n plek van aanbidding en ons moet vra, hoekom? Wat kry mense uit ‘n in-persoon byeenkoms wat hulle nie aanlyn kry nie?  Ons moet daardie elemente identifiseer en seker maak dat ons hulle versterk. Na my mening is sommige hiervan die gesamentlike sang, aanbidding en korporatiewe gebed, sowel as sosiale “kuiertyd” voor en na dienste.

Hoe kan mense bereik en bedien word buite in-persoon byeenkomste? 

Oorbrug die digitale skeidslyn:

Baie gemeentes sal die brug moet oorsteek na digitale tegnologie, sosiale media en aanlyn teenwoordigheid om effektief uit te reik na hulle lidmate en om volhoubaar te groei in die toekoms. Die Kerk sal voortbestaan, maar ongelukkig sal alle gemeentes nie voortbestaan nie. Ek stem nie heeltemal saam met die mening dat kerke in die toekoms digitale organisasies sal wees met fisiese uitdrukkings nie. Ek is egter oortuig dat pastore en gemeentes kennis moet neem van die geweldige geleentheid wat digitale teenwoordigheid aan die kerk bied om mense oral te bereik. Sosiale media en aanlyn platforms skep die geleentheid om daagliks teenwoordig te wees in die lewens van mense en nie net op Sondae nie. Hierdie geleentheid sal aanhou groei en behoort ‘n manier te word waarop mense in die kerk kan inkom. Dit moet nie net ‘n laaste uitweg wees vir mense wat die kerk verlaat het, soos wat dit in die onlangse verlede was nie.

Sosiale media en aanlyn platforms skep die geleentheid om daagliks teenwoordig te wees in die lewens van mense en nie net op Sondae nie.”

Die kerk wat regtig omgee vir mense, veral vir jongmense, sal in die toekoms ook hulle digitale teenwoordigheid belangrik ag. Ons moet ook kennis neem dat jy nie ‘n groot gemeente of ‘n groot begroting nodig het om ‘n aanlyn impak te maak nie.  Al wat nodig is, is ‘n bereidheid om tegnologie te omarm en te eksperimenteer met beskikbare opsies.

Beskikbaarheid op-aanvraag: Gemeentes wat reeds voor of tydens die inperking ‘n digitale teenwoordigheid ontwikkel het moet die geleentheid aangryp om dit verder uit te brei. Baie gemeentes bied hulle Sondagdienste of mid-week byeenkomste as “lewendige” (“live”) geleenthede aan en veronderstel dat mense wat toegang daartoe wil hê, dit op ‘n bepaalde tyd sal doen.

Die mees suksesvolle digitale platforms bied hulle produk op-aanvraag (“on demand”) aan en kerke kan daaruit leer. Oorweeg dit om elke in-persoon byeenkoms aanlyn beskikbaar te maak, soos en wanneer dit lidmate en besoekers pas. Baie pastore en gemeentes het jare se preke, preekreekse en leringe beskikbaar op MP4 of YouTube videos en moet dit oorweeg om dit ook op aanvraag beskikbaar te stel.

Tuisgebaseerde geestelike formasie: Dit is goed om te sien dat sommige gemeentes begin fokus op ‘n elke-dag-van-die-week benadering tot bediening en nie net op Sondae nie. Die konsep van “op-aanvraag” beskikbaarheid van preke, toerustingsgeleenthede en Bybelstudies kan uitgebrei word om ander elemente soos nuwe-lidmaat oriëntering, geestelikegroei- en huweliksverrykings kursusse ten volle of gedeeltelik, aanlyn beskikbaar te stel.

Dit kan individue in staat stel om die materiaal op hulle eie tyd tuis deur te werk en slegs die laaste sessie/s in persoon dan by te woon. Op hierdie manier kan mense ondersteun word om verantwoordelikheid vir hulle eie geestelike groei, persoonlike dissipelskap en evangelisasie te neem.

Wat is die kern elemente en beginsels van kerkwees?

Oor die laaste paar dekades het kerke instellings geword met diep gewortelde kulture en gevestigde maniere van doen. Baie gemeentes het verskeie departemente, bedieninge en belangstellingsvelde ontwikkel. Sommige is so gediversifiseerd dat dit soms moeilik is om sonder meer te bepaal wat hulle kernfokus is. Die pandemie bied ons die geleentheid en dalk die noodsaaklikheid om terug te gaan na sogenaamde zero-gebaseerde denke: Om onsself en ons gemeentes terug te plaas by die punt net voor bepaalde besluite t.o.v. departemente, bedieninge, gemeentekultuur en daaglikse bedrywighede geneem is en om nou in die lig van huidige omstandighede en beskikbare inligting, daardie besluite (weer) vrylik te neem.

Kerkwees gaan oor meer as net wat tussen die vier mure van kerkgeboue gebeur. Huise, woonbuurte en gemeenskappe is deel van ons bedieningsveld. ‘n Belangrike opmerking ten opsigte hiervan is om te verseker dat alhoewel metodes en modelle moet verander, gemeentes se missie dieselfde bly.

Huise, woonbuurte en gemeenskappe is deel van ons bedieningsveld.”

Op wat behoort gemeentes geld te spandeer?

Virtuele vergaderings het letterlik oornag die nuwe manier van vergadering hou geword. Alles dui daarop dat dit deel van die “nuwe normaal” gaan wees en dat baie personeelvergaderings en selfs die van strukture op gemeente-, streek- en nasionale vlak in die toekoms so gehou sal kan word. Dit kan lei tot redelike begrotings besparings, terwyl gemeentes dit behoort te oorweeg om ‘n deel van hulle begroting toe te wys aan die opgradering van hulle digitale vermoë en -bediening.

‘n Verdere implikasie hiervan is dat personeellede wat die toerusting het, virtueel kan werk. Dit is ‘n tendens wat waarskynlik sal toeneem in baie maatskappye en gemeentes behoort ook daarby baat te vind. Die kern kwessie sal produktiwiteit wees en ook hulle beskikbaarheid om die nodige aandag en fokus aan hulle werk te gee, al werk hulle van die huis af.

Een van die belangrikste aksies wat gemeentes moet neem, is om te bepaal wat regtig noodsaaklik is vir hulle funksionering as gemeente en wat net “lekker is om te hê”, veral in die lig daarvan dat die inkomste van baie gemeentes onder druk is.

Sources: “Disruptive church trends every church leader should watch.”  – Carey Nieuwhof & “How COVID-19 Is Shaping the Future of the Church.” – Carey Nieuwhof & “Moving Forward: Future Church Trends.” -Anthony Hilder & “Five early findings from churches that are regathering.” -Thom Rainer.

SLOT

Terwyl ons deur die verskillende fases van die Covid-19 pandemie gaan, moet ons bewus wees daarvan dat die her-opening van kerkgeboue nie noodwendig ‘n toestroming van mense beteken nie, in elk geval nie nou al nie. Wêreldwye opnames wys dat mense uiteenlopende opinies het t.o.v. wanneer hulle “veilig” sal voel om weer bymekaar te kom.

Dit blyk dat sowat 30% van respondente eers sal terugkeer kerk toe wanneer hulle nie maskers hoef te dra nie en 15% sê hulle sal eers kerk toe kom wanneer gevalle laag is, besighede oopmaak, beperkinge opgehef word en ‘n teenmiddel beskikbaar is. Rondom 8% sê dat die oopmaak van restaurante vir aansit-kliënte vir hulle ‘n riglyn sal wees. As kerkleiers moet ons nie hierdie tendense as emosionele laagtepunte beleef nie en moet ons ook daarteen waak om mense wat versigtig is t.o.v. bywoning, te behandel asof hulle minder geloof het.

Een ding is seker: Ons betreë ‘n nuwe realiteit en baie mense, selfs leiers sukkel, op ’n dieper vlak as wat ons besef, met die afwesigheid van dit wat die meeste van ons tot onlangs as “normaal” beleef het.  Dit is belangrik dat ons hieroor sal praat met ons familie, vriende en kollegas. Ons moet hieroor bid en dink en onsself voorberei op ‘n langer tydperk van ontwrigting as wat ons gedink het.

Past. M.G. Mahlobo

Newsflash: Friday, 12 June 2020

12 JUNE ENG 2020

AFM Colleagues,

COMPLIANCE WITH COVID-19 REGULATIONS

Some of our churches gathered for the first time since the commencement of the national lockdown on 26 March 2020. Others deferred the resumption of Sunday church services until they are able to comply with all Covid-19 safety regulations under Alert Level 3. Let me reiterate what I said in my previous communication, namely that compliance with Covid-19 regulations is non-negotiable. All AFM presiding Pastors must ensure that they fully comply with church gathering regulations under Alert Level 3. I have been informed that some churches were visited by law enforcement agencies to ensure compliance issues. Your congregation may be visited too.

Please make sure that you are aware of the AFM’s guidelines for church meetings under Level 3, available from the following link:

Guidelines for Church Meetings during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Calm Before The Storm

The rapid infections of Covid-19 have disrupted our lives in ways never experienced since the Spanish flu of 1918. The first case of Covid-19 in South Africa was diagnosed on 5 March 2020. As of now we have more than 50,000 thousand infections and more than 1,000 people who have succumbed to the stealthy killer. It is estimated that when South Africa reaches its Covid-19 peak by July, 1.2 million people will be infected and that by November the death toll shall have reached 40,000.

Campaign To Bring Down The Infection Rate

The church must be part of the campaign to bring down the infection rate. I am calling upon all AFM Pastors to ensure that we regularly communicate the following messages to all:

  • Wear a mask when getting out.
  • Keep physical distance.
  • No handshakes or hugs.
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap & water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Do not touch face with unwashed hands.
  • Clean cell phone with cloth and hot soapy water or sanitizer.

Behavioral Change

In many instances we come across people who do not heed the above safety measures. We need to encourage our brothers and sisters to comply. By doing this, we will be emulating the kind of compassion that Jesus demonstrated in Matthew 9:36: “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them.” 

Church Resources For Covid-19

I want to encourage all Pastors to visit this website: https://www.churchinaction.org.za. This is the website created by the South African Council of Churches (SACC) and Heartlines to provide churches with resources in the fight against coronavirus. This is a “toolbox” website with a lot of materials that are useful in combating Covid-19. These materials are available in all eleven official languages of South Africa.

Blessings!

MG Mahlobo

Nuusflits: Vrydag, 12 Junie 2020

12 JUNIE AFR 2020

AGS Kollega,

VOLDOEN AAN DIE REGULASIES VAN COVID-19

Sommige van ons gemeentes het vir die eerste keer, sedert die aanvang van die nasionale inperking op 26 Maart 2020, verlede Sondag bymekaar gekom. Sommige gemeentes het die hervatting van Sondag-dienste uitgestel totdat hulle in staat is om aan al die veiligheidsregulasies van Covid-19 te voldoen. Ek het in my vorige kommunikasie genoem dat die nakoming van Covid-19-regulasies nie onderhandelbaar is nie. Alle presiderende Pastore moet toesien dat hulle die regulasies vir byeenkomste volgens inperkings Vlak 3 nakom. Ek is ingelig dat die wetstoepassings agentskappe sommige kerke besoek het om nakoming van die regulasies te verseker. Enige gemeente kan sonder waarskuwing besoek word.

Maak asseblief seker dat jy wel in besit is van die AGS se riglyne vir byeenkomste gedurende Vlak 3. Hierdie riglyne kan weer hier afgelaai word:

Guidelines for Church Meetings during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Stilte Voor Die Storm

Die verspreidingstempo van Covid-19 het ons lewens ontwrig op maniere wat ons nog nooit van te vore, sedert die Spaanse griep van 1918, ervaar het nie. Die eerste geval van Covid-19 in Suid-Afrika is op 5 Maart 2020 aangemeld. Ons het nou al meer as 50,000 duisend infeksies en meer as 1,000 mense wat hulle lewens verloor het. Daar word beweer dat Suid-Afrika teen Julie sy Covid-19-hoogtepunt sal bereik. Die bewering is ook dat 1,2 miljoen mense besmet sal wees en dat die dodetal teen November op sy hoogste sal wees (40,000).

Veldtog Om Die Infeksiesyfer Te Verlaag

Die kerk moet deel wees van die veldtog om die infeksiekoers te verlaag. Ek doen ‘n beroep op alle AGS-Pastore om seker te maak dat ons die volgende boodskappe gereeld aan almal oordra:

• Dra ‘n masker as jy jou huis verlaat.

• Hou fisiese afstand.

• Geen handdrukke of drukkies nie.

• Was hande deeglik met seep en water vir ten minste 20 sekondes.

• Moenie aan jou gesig met ongewaste hande raak nie.

• Maak jou selfoon skoon met ‘n lappie en warm seepwater/ontsmettingsmiddel.

Gedragsverandering 

In baie gevalle kom ons op mense af wat nie die bogenoemde veiligheidsmaatreëls in ag neem nie. Ons moet ons broers en susters dus aanmoedig om daaraan te voldoen. Deur dit te doen, sal ons die soort deernis wat Jesus in Matteus 9:36 getoon het navolg, “Toe Hy die menigtes sien, het Hy hulle innig jammer gekry…”

Kerk-Hulpbronne Vir Covid-19

Ek wil alle Pastore aanmoedig om hierdie webwerf te besoek: https://www.churchinaction.org.za. Dit is die webwerf wat deur die Suid-Afrikaanse Raad van Kerke (SARK) en Heartlines geskep is om aan kerke hulpbronne te bied in die stryd teen Covid-19. Dit is ‘n webblad wat kerke bemagtig en toerus met nuttige inligting in die stryd teen Covid-19. Hierdie inligting is ook beskikbaar in die 11 amptelike tale van Suid-Afrika.

Seën!

MG Mahlobo